Each Thursday, Sports Handle will recap all the top sports betting news in Canada, highlight the Game of the Week, and take a look ahead at some of the most intriguing games to bet on over the weekend.
Our top Canadian sports stories this week
- OLG Evolving To Meet Demands Of More Competitive IGaming Market In Ontario
- Will The New CFL Rule Changes Actually Improve Scoring And Boost Totals?
- Ontario’s Regulator Fines PointsBet, BetMGM For Advertising Infractions
- Canadian Gaming Association President Paul Burns Elected To Sports Betting Hall Of Fame
- NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Odds And Series Betting Preview
Game(s) of the week
Canadian NHL teams in playoffs (all odds courtesy FanDuel)
Dallas Stars vs. Calgary Flames — Flames lead best-of-seven series 1-0
Series price: Flames (-720), Stars (+500)
The Flames completely locked down the Stars in Game 1, holding their opponents to just 16 shots on goal en route to a 1-0 victory. Elias Lindholm scored the lone goal, a power play marker in the first period, and Flames goaltender Jacob Markstrom earned his second career playoff shutout.
Calgary is heavily favored (-230) at home in Game 2 on Thursday night and Dallas (+190) will have to find a way to generate more scoring chances. The total is set low at 5.5 goals.
Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Tampa Bay Lightning — Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Series price: Maple Leafs (-111), Lightning (-108)
Toronto made a huge statement with a 5-0 victory over the defending back-to-back Stanley Cup champions in Game 1 on Monday, but the Bolts responded by taking Game 2 by a score of 5-3 on Wednesday night.
The scene now shifts to Tampa (-120) for Game 3 on Friday night, and Toronto (+102) will have to take a more disciplined approach. The Lightning converted on three of their seven power play chances in Game 2, making the Leafs pay for their overly physical approach.
Edmonton Oilers vs. Los Angeles Kings — Best-of-seven series tied 1-1
Series price: Oilers (-215), Kings (+176)
The Kings stole Game 1 on Monday night with a 4-3 victory and took home-ice advantage in the series away from the Oilers. But Edmonton responded in a big way Wednesday night, pounding Los Angeles by a score of 6-0 to even the series at a game apiece.
Game 3 will go Friday night in Los Angeles. Edmonton (-144) is still favored despite being on the road, as oddsmakers continue to remain sheepish on the Kings’ (+122) chances of containing Edmonton’s potent attack led by Connor McDavid.
Every single Oilers skater with an expected goal share north of 50% tonight.
Two of their four most common forward lines were over 80% as a unit. Their worst combo by xGF% scored two goals and had a 64% share.
Oh, and Mike Smith with the shutout.
That's a complete effort.
— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) May 5, 2022
PlayFallsview sportsbook to launch
Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment — which owns two major casinos in Niagara Falls, Casino Niagara and Fallsview Casino — has selected Kambi Group to support the company’s new PlayFallsview online mobile sportsbook brand.
The multi-year deal will allow Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment to leverage Kambi’s technology and mobile sports betting offerings for its new brand.
There’s currently no timeline for the launch of PlayFallsview, and Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment is not currently licensed with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
“It’s an exciting time for the mobile gaming industry as sports betting continues to grow, and we’re thrilled to be entering into another partnership with Kambi Group plc with the launch of PlayFallsview online mobile sportsbook,” said Rich Roberts, president of Mohegan Digital. “Once launched, this will mark MGE’s first online mobile gaming product outside of the United States and we’re really looking forward to our partnership with Kambi Group on this new venture.”
During a Gaming Americas panel last January, Roberts said Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment was also interested in hosting esports competitions in its Niagara venues in the future.
Kambi’s technology is being used in 17 U.S. states, and it recently added Ontario when the regulated market went live on April 4.
Kambi is strengthening its partner network through an agreement with Mohegan Gaming & Entertainment in Ontario.
The partnership will see MGE's Fallsview Casino leverage Kambi’s award-winning sportsbook technology for its new PlayFallsview mobile brand.https://t.co/drfxQfd0gG pic.twitter.com/NOb5KoXayF
— Kambi (@KambiSports) May 3, 2022
New AGCO license
Another operator, Skill On Net, was officially granted three licenses by the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario this week. Playojo.ca, spingenie.ca, and slotsmagic.ca have all been registered with the regulator, and the company’s website says it will have an operating agreement with iGaming Ontario soon.
According to its website, Skill On Net was founded in 2005 and provides over 3,000 different slots and table games to many white label and full turnkey partners.
As of Thursday morning, 34 operators have been successfully registered with the AGCO and 21 websites/apps are live in the province of Ontario. More operators are expected to launch in the coming weeks and months, including DraftKings, Bet99, BetRegal, NorthStar Bets, Betway, and Pinnacle, among others.
Ontario data from earnings calls
Many sportsbooks had earnings calls this week and some interesting data regarding Ontario operations was revealed.
Firstly, the following data from theScore Bet:
theScore Bet highlights (via $PENN earnings call)
– 79% of Ontario bettors use theScore media app
– 50% of Ontario sports bettors have also used iCasino
– 84% of bettors have wagered on an Ontario team; 51% on Blue Jays
– Sports betting lounge to open at Blue Jays' Rogers Centre
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) May 5, 2022
TheScore’s mobile news app averages roughly 4 million monthly users from around the globe, but the numbers aren’t an indication of how many of these users are also using theScore Bet app. It will be interesting to see the conversion data from the news app to the betting app once it becomes available. The company, which is based and branded in Toronto, offered 50 free casino spins to new users upon signup, so it’s not surprising nearly half of their bettors used iCasino through the first month.
Secondly, Caesars CEO Tom Reeg said the company will be spending cautiously in Ontario due to the crowded and competitive marketplace.
Caesars doesn't plan to spend as aggressively on online sports betting / iCasino in Ontario as it has in the US, CEO Tom Reeg reaffirmed today; $CZR is going up against 30+ regulated competitors, plus more unlicensed operators, making market share tough to acquire
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) May 3, 2022
Thirdly, Rush Street Interactive (BetRivers) is very optimistic about its Ontario operations. The sportsbook announced some early data after the first week of launching in Ontario last month, and surprisingly revealed basketball accounted for 36% of its weekly handle. The Masters golf tournament was also very popular with Ontario bettors. BetRivers is using former TSN Sportscentre anchor Dan O’Toole as its Canadian brand ambassador.
Unlike New York, Rush Street Interactive expects positive contributions from Ontario (where online casino is legal and marketing is limited) immediately, $RSI officials said during today's Q1 2022 earnings call; BetRivers launched in Ontario last month
— Ryan Butler (@ButlerBets) May 4, 2022
CGA welcomes new members
The Canadian Gaming Association, a national trade association that represents leading operators and suppliers in Canada’s gaming, sports betting, eSports, and lottery industries, announced three new members this week: GeoComply, Bet99, and FIS.
The Canadian Gaming Association has expanded its membership roster by welcoming companies including GeoComply, Bet99, and FIS to its ranks:https://t.co/A6WyzqNhpa
— Gaming Business (@CdnGamingBiz) May 5, 2022
GeoComply, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based third-party location service provider that provides cybersecurity solutions to detect location fraud and verify a user’s true identity, is working with several operators that have launched in Ontario.
Congratulations to all of our partners in Ontario who participated in the new #iGaming market launch yesterday!
Here’s a 30 minute time lapse video showing a snapshot of activity on Monday night in #Ontario. pic.twitter.com/VjB42C3sQh
— GeoComply (@GeoComply) April 5, 2022
Bet99, which signed Auston Matthews as a brand ambassador, is expected to launch its pay site in the province of Ontario and is in the process of becoming licensed by regulators. UFC great Georges St-Pierre is also a company spokesperson.
FIS is an American multinational Fortune 500 corporation that offers a wide range of financial products and services to global gaming customers.
It was a high-profile week for the CGA, whose president and CEO, Paul Burns, was elected to the Sports Betting Hall of Fame.